Death end re;Quest 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 25.04.2022 1

Review for Death end re;Quest 2 on Nintendo Switch

Around eighteen months after Death end re;Quest 2 debuted on PlayStation 4 and Steam, the sequel to the tragedy filled Death end re;Quest from Compile Heart, Idea Factory and Reef Entertainment came to Nintendo Switch, with all the original DLC for free. It is not exactly a direct sequel, but there are appearances from some characters of the original. This instalment in the horror RPG series follows Mai, a young teen who has endured more than any person ever should, so she is sent away to a sleepy town called Le Choara. Mai has a lot of emotional baggage and is trying to find her sister who supposedly was at Wordsworth; the girls' orphanage parading as a school. Upon arrival there seems no evidence of Sanae, but Mai continues her quest because she is convinced the adults are hiding information about her sister and is determined to find out the truth no matter the cost.

There is no getting away from how gruesome, violent and twisted Death end re;Quest 2 is; there is even a warning when starting before the catchy theme song plays. Like its predecessor, this title uses a combination of graphics and detailed description of the horrendous deaths and other torture acts, which is not suitable for anyone with a weak stomach. At times it felt a bit less grim, because there are quite a lot of happy moments during the daytime when Mai and her friends have normal school activities. It is usually up to the individual to choose which scene to encounter first, chosen from various floors in the Wordsworth grounds or out in town, presented with a fun floorplan of the dormitory and town layout.

Some events may not happen on a playthrough if trigger scenes are not watched first. It is possible to ignore the various scenarios and go straight to night when the fighting occurs, but there is so much character growth through Mai's interactions with the other girls that skipping anything on the first playthrough feels wrong. Initially on her own, Mai soon is joined by the happy go lucky Rottie - yes that is her name - who is determined to be friends with the reluctant new student. It takes a bit of time for the third, and final party member, Liliana, to join, but once together the trio face personal and physical demons repeatedly when the other students are asleep.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest 2 on Nintendo Switch

As the game progresses and the drama intensifies even the daylight hours have less sunshine, with the visual novel style scenes being a welcome part of the story. Nighttime, however, is when everything changes, and the monsters come out to play. The monster design seems more gruesome than ever, and there are one or two nods in the enemies to another series by Compile Heart and Idea Factory, Mary Skelter. It is under the moon when all good things seem sucked out of the environment. The clock ticks to midnight on screen, and the short sequence as the game loads leaves no doubt that the word 'safe' does not exist. Mai's first nightly exploration, something actively forbidden at Wordsworth, becomes a daily event.

Fights themselves - especially if the DLC weapons are used from the start - are fairly unchallenging on the easiest difficulty setting, with overkill being commonplace. Alongside standard attack and guard, all characters can input three commands including special skills, subject to having enough skill points. Each ally and enemy are designated a particular element; sun, moon or stars. While all party members can use skill attacks from those elements, their individual strength lies in attacking monsters whose element is the weakest. The skills are further divided into physical and magical attacks, which again on the easiest difficulty mostly do not matter what is used. Some are immune to physical or magical attacks, and later bosses can counterattack if the skill targeting their weakness is used.

The familiar knockback technique that is dealt with by skills saying knockback makes its return, pushing the enemy away into other enemies if the direction of knockback is correctly calculated, and as they bounce around the screen one of the girls can deploy an extra action that pushes the enemy around even more if they get close enough. Using the skill well can mean that a fight can be over after just one character's turn. Either before or after a turn's actions are decided the girls can roam anywhere they like within the battle area. They can also use search mode which lets them check an enemy's information including what element they are, as well as see what each cursed bug's effect is. A cursed bug is a coloured space on the battlefield that will inflict a bad or good effect on whoever steps on it, or in the case of enemies, are knocked across them. For the girls this will increase their corruption level to various degrees: once it reaches eighty percent, they transform into the colour of the little monsters who constantly follow them about. The transformation has a magical girl feel to it.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest 2 on Nintendo Switch

The sole negative aspect of fighting is that this never explains the special attack used for when the girls transform into glitch mode upon corruption can only occur on the final choice in their action sequence. It is possible to spend most of the game unable to use what can be a devastatingly powerful attack simply because the game does not explain how to use it. Once discovered, however, leads to continually making the girls go into glitch mode because their individual special attacks are extremely cool in execution with a great balance between timing and sound effects. There are a couple of boss battles where the words the girls say in glitch mode relate to specific bosses. This was heard in Japanese, which the game was played in.

Those who cannot understand Japanese sadly do not get subtitles in battle, so will miss out on that extra detail which shows how much effort Compile Heart and Idea Factory put into Death end re;Quest 2. There is an option for English voices, but when it was switched partway through the game to check out the voices, only silence was heard which was odd. Perhaps it was an unexpected glitch (no, not that type) and when English is used from the start of the game it played just fine. All dialogue scenes are fully voiced which adds to the intensity of the tale.

Alongside the usual range of disgusting looking monsters, there is a creature which appears in the dungeons to kill the girls, called Dark Shadow. It will appear from nowhere, and will chase until they either run out of its range (although sometimes it can disappear and reappear, or even a second one will appear which is utterly terrifying), or it disappears when they run into a normal enemy. Being touched by a Dark Shadow causes instance death, so avoiding it is a priority. This feels like another nod to the Mary Skelter series where the party gets chased by a Nightmare; a tough to defeat boss that makes the map disappear in any difficulty level above easy. The Dark Shadows seem to appear frequently when trying to make progress to a new area. It can be advisable to leave at least one or two enemies in an area undefeated to ensure there are enemies to fight when the Dark Shadow appears. Additional to the Dark Shadow there are Berserkers who appear in battle later on. If enemies are not defeated swiftly and the Berserker has time to act, it will bring instant death to any character in the highlighted area. In easy mode and using DLC weapons there may only be a handful of times when accidental death by the Berserker occurs.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest 2 on Nintendo Switch

There are the standard game options and menu tabs in the RPG mode at night. Character skills in battle can favourited and manually put in order for a menu in battle which is convenient. Party members can be swapped in and out; Mai, Rottie and Liliana remain the three main characters, but after certain events some characters from Death end re;Quest are available for use. They have similar levels to the main party and it is fun watching familiar faces. However, they will never ever interact with Mai's team outside of battle.

In town it's easy to bring up the area map, which can be zoomed in on, and is helpful especially if the Dark Shadow appears and the ability to see where is safe to run to matters. One essential area in the main menu is the episode chart, which has all the chapters laid out with their scenarios. It is easy to see already completed chapters, a small reward is gained from each scene once completed for the first time. On the first playthrough many scenes may not get completed or even triggered. This is because some require Mai to die - these death end moments do then provide the option for going back to where the fatal decision was made and make the other choice, or go to an earlier save file.

Usually going back to the choice part is best as it means nothing really gets lost. The game will remember which choice was made first and show it with a tick. Some scenes are left incomplete until a new game plus is activated. This is meant to be played more than once because it provides extra content from characters who are not that active in the first game. This extra content while not essential, it does help fill in some gaps for those who played Death end re;Quest, adds a unique intro theme sequence, and gives fans much hope that one day there may be a third game for the series.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Continuing the startling violent theme coupled with many moments of raw emotion related to the utter awfulness of humanity, Death end re;Quest 2 certainly delivers for old and new fans alike. While aspects of the battle system could have been explained better, and elements of the voice overs be tweaked, overall it is a superb horror RPG on Nintendo Switch. Replayability will depend how much of a fan of the original players are, and completionists can happily use the skip event mode to make the second play through faster, along with the option of keeping weapons, attack skills, and character levels the same as the end of the first playthrough.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Reef Entertainment

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

This actually sounds really cool! I might need to pick it up after all!

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